How to Prune Lavender for Optimal Growth

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Learn how to prune lavender for optimal growth with these tips and tricks. By following these simple tips, you can keep your lavender plants healthy and promote new growth.

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The Basics of Pruning Lavender

Pruning lavender may seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple! Lavender should be pruned in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. The best way to prune lavender is to remove about one-third of the plant’s height. This will encourage new growth and make the plant fuller.

When to prune

Lavender is a woody, evergreen perennial shrub. Depending on the variety, it can range in height from 12 inches to 4 feet tall. The most common varieties grown in home gardens are English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and Spanish lavender (Lavandula dentata). All three types produce long, slender stems that are covered in small, fragrant flowers.

Lavender blooms on new wood, which means that it produces flowers on the tips of stems that grew the previous season. To encourage lots of new growth (and more flowers), you need to prune your lavender plants each year. The best time to prune them is in late spring, just after they finish blooming.

How to prune

Lavender (Lavandula) is a beautiful, fragrant plant that’s easy to grow in well-drained soil in full sun. Pruning promotes a long season of bloom and helps to prevent the plant from becoming woody and overgrown.

Here are the basics of how to prune lavender:

-Start by pruning off any dead or dying stems.
-Next, cut back any longer stems by about one-third to encourage branching.
-Finally, shape the plant by pruning away any stray or unsightly stems.

To learn more about pruning lavender, click here.

The Benefits of Pruning Lavender

If you want your lavender plants to grow optimally, it’s important to prune them regularly. Pruning helps to encourage new growth and also keeps the plants healthy by removing dead or diseased parts. It’s best to prune lavender in early spring, just before new growth begins.

Improved air circulation

Pruning lavender improves air circulation, which in turn helps to reduce the risk of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. By pruning away the dense inner growth of the plant, you allow air to circulate more freely around the lavender stems and leaves. This increased airflow not only helps to prevent disease, but also provides a boost to the plant’s overall health and vigor.

More flowers

Pruning lavender not only keeps the plant tidy, but also encourages more flowers. Lavender blooms on new growth, so by pruning back the plant each year, you are encouraging more growth, and in turn, more flowers.

Neater appearance

Prune your lavender regularly to ensure a tidier appearance and to prevent the plant from becoming too woody and leggy. In general, you should prune lavender once a year, in late spring or early summer. How much you prune depends on the age and size of the plant, as well as the look you want to achieve. For example, if you want a denser plant, don’t be afraid to cut back quite a bit.

Pruning also helps encourage new growth, which is important for maintaining a healthy plant. When you prune, be sure to use sharp, clean pruning shears or scissors. This will help prevent infections and other diseases from spreading.

The Right Way to Prune Lavender

Prune lavender in early spring before new growth begins. For the most part, you’ll be removing dead or excess growth from the plant. However, you may also want to shape the plant to control its size or encourage bushier growth.

Start with a clean, sharp knife

Start with a clean, sharp knife. You can sterilize it with rubbing alcohol if you like, but it’s not strictly necessary. Lavender is a tough plant and can take a little abuse.

Cut off any dead or dying branches first. These will be the ones that are brown or black in color and are either limp or completely dried out.

Next, cut back any branches that are significantly longer than the others. Lavender typically doesn’t need much shaping, so you don’t want to go overboard here. Just aim for a overall tidy appearance.

Finally, cut away any branches that are crossing over or rubbing against each other. This can damage the plant and also make it more difficult for air and light to reach the inner parts of the bush.

Cut at an angle

When pruning lavender, be sure to cut at an angle just above the leaf node. This will encourage new growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy.

Avoid over-pruning

Although lavender is a hardy plant, it can be damaged by over-pruning. Lavender bushes produce most of their flowers on the previous year’s growth, so pruning too early in the season can result in fewer blooms. It’s best to wait until late spring or early summer to prune your lavender, after the plant has finished flowering.

Troubleshooting Common Lavender Problems

Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant plant that can add a touch of elegance to any garden. It’s also a fairly easy plant to care for, but there are a few things you should know about pruning lavender for optimal growth. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to troubleshoot common lavender problems.

Brown leaves

One of the most common problems that gardeners face with their lavender is brown leaves. This can be due to a number of different factors, but the most common culprit is a lack of watering. Lavender requires very little water once it is established, so if you are overwatering your plants, this can lead to the leaves turning brown and eventually falling off.

If you suspect that overwatering is the problem, try to cut back on the amount of water you are giving your plants and see if this helps to resolve the issue. Another possible cause of brown leaves is frost damage. If your plants have been exposed to cold temperatures, this can cause the leaves to turn brown and eventually drop off.

If you think that frost damage might be the problem, try pruning away any affected areas and see if this helps the plant to recover. If neither of these solutions seems to be working, it is possible that your plant is suffering from a nutrient deficiency. Lavender requires very little in terms of fertilizer, but if you think that your plant might need a little boost, try using a balanced fertilizer and see if this helps to resolve the problem.

Spindly growth

If your lavender is growing spindly and leggy, it’s probably not getting enough sunlight. Lavender grows best in full sun, so if you suspect this is the problem, try moving your plant to a sunnier location. If that’s not possible, you can also try pruning the plant to encourage bushier growth.

Lack of flowers

If your lavender isn’t blooming, it’s likely due to one of the following reasons:
-The plant is too young and hasn’t yet reached maturity. Lavender typically doesn’t bloom until it’s at least 2 years old.
-The plant isn’t getting enough sun. Lavender needs at least 8 hours of sunlight per day to bloom properly.
-The plant isn’t getting enough water. Lavender needs to be watered deeply, but not too often. Water the plant once a week, giving it enough water to reach the roots.
-The plant is getting too much fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can actually prevent lavender from blooming. If you think this might be the problem, stop fertilizing and see if that helps the plant bloom.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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